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Colts draft center Ryan Kelly, two others

Posted at 11:06 PM, Apr 28, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indianapolis Colts took a step toward shoring up their offensive line issues by picking up Alabama center Ryan Kelly in the NFL Draft Thursday night.

The 6'4", 311 pound center will join a Colts offensive line criticized roundly last season for insufficiently protecting quarterback Andrew Luck – who missed most of the season with multiple injuries, including a lacerated liver.

Kelly was selected for the All SEC 1st Team in 2015 and was the Rimington Trophy award winner in 2016. The award is given to the player considered to be the best center in college football.

RTV6 Sports Director Dave Furst said Colts fans were likely to see Kelly as the answer to cries for help on the offensive line:

Colts fans have been begging for help on the offensive line and NOW they have it.  Hopefully.  The Colts new center of attention is 6’4” Ryan Kelly.  He’s as honored as it gets for offensive lineman in the SEC.  He’s also versatile.  The young man can play guard or center.  But, Chuck Pagano is definitely thinking “center.”  In fact he likened the relationship that Andrew Luck might have with Kelly to the relationship that Peyton Manning had with Jeff Saturday.  No pressure there, Chuck.  My advice is to let the kid grow and if he is the next Jeff Saturday, then we all know who we’ll be appreciating on Sundays.  It’s Ryan’s hope.  And it’s the Colts nation’s as well.

Kelly was a three-year starter for the University of Alabama. He was redshirted during his initial season, and came off the bench to play in 10 games at center as a redshirt freshman. He was named to the SEC All-Freshman Team in 2012.

On Saturday, the Colts made two more pick-ups: Texas Tech offensive tackle Le'Raven Clark and Clemson safety T.J. Green.

Clark is a 6'5", 316 pounds All-Big 12 honoree who started 51 straight games for the Red Raiders.

 

Green was a two-star recruit out of Alabama who made 95 tackles in 2015. He stands 6'2" and weighs in at 209 pounds.